the gondolier

The twenty year veteran Gondolier whistled, I just called to say I love you, as we floated down the Sansiere san Polo.


This boat really is romantic, travelling between the water corridors around the Grand Canal tipping to the hard right when floating under the bridges at high tide.

Venice is not a tiny island; it is 114 islands and 450 bridges.


Before 1800 there were no bridges. It originated when Romans were fleeing the Barbarians on the mainland. It is easy for me to get lost, which really doesn’t take much. Even Jim got lost, which is really hard to do since he has an inborn GPS.


Today the city is populated with 70,000 permanent residents; that’d be about the same size as our hometown.


This town makes Toronto look unicultural.

We have the Bay and Sears, while Venice has Gucci, Prada, Armani, Armani Jr…better get school shopping done, hee hee.

What our towns have in common is industry, primarily government, if you consider that industry (BTW I really don’t). There is also tourism, he says. No kidding. This very city’s tourism makes the entire country of Italy look like a village.


The gondolier explained different buildings that individual families lived in these massive homes. He knew the architectural periods, which ones housed scuolas, which were apartment buildings, which ones were too cold and too rotten to inhabit.


He explained to me that this church was named after Santa Lucia. He had to prevent himself from rolling his eyes when I asked who she was, one of the major patron saints.

He explained that Angelina Jolie filmed in that building for Accidental Tourist. The Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice, is obviously situated here. Popular place!

If you want to eat well, ask a local. The gondolier directed us toward the Il Migliore.


Prosecco (a bubbly white), risotto with scampi, crunchy bruschetta, and zuppa de verdure were divine.


Atmosfera: sitting alongside the canal, fishing boat resting beside me, Hispanic quartet of accordions, mouth accordion, and guitar playing When the Moon Hits the Sky, like a big pizza pie…ah, yes, I AM in love.